Bacanal Media Entertainment
Based in London. Invests in ECommerce Platforms, Marketplaces, Consumer Internet, SaaS, Digital Media, Online Travel, Venture Capital
Rodrigo is a digital native venture capitalist, formerly a strategy consultant, serial entrepreneur, and business angel. After earning his Computer Science Engineering degree at EPITA in Paris, France, he started his career working with industrial, banking, retail and media clients for two large consultancies (KPMG Consulting, Gemini Consulting) co-creating the Internet security, Internet strategy and online marketplaces practices. In the following 10 years, Rodrigo also led a number of digital strategy assignments as a free-lance consultant for public multi-billion revenue companies working closely with both the executive committees and CEOs, with clients such as AOL Europe, Capgemini and Darty. After getting two MBAs (from the Sorbonne University, and later at INSEAD and The Wharton School), he co-founded in 2002 and later ran Glowria, a video-rental and VOD service, that quickly became #1 in France and #2 in Germany. In 2005, he also co-founded and ran vpod.tv, an award-winning multimedia content management software aimed at Fortune 500, with operations in France and Spain. Both had significant venture-capital financing and were acquired. In 2009, he became an active business angel and startup mentor with a strong focus on consumers investing in companies such as Amiando, Trigami, GetAround, RecargaPay, ManifestCommerce, Tribe, Holberton School, Attach.io, etc. He is a frequent speaker at events worldwide, a regular jury member at startup competitions and occasional lecturer in top graduate schools. Rodrigo has also participated in over 300 podcasts in the past 10 years (“French Connection” at LCI Radio, “On Refait Le Mac”), always commenting on the business side of technology. In his spare time, Rodrigo is an avid traveler, B&W photographer, genealogist, wine enthusiast and enjoys opera, fine dining, biking and snowboarding. Rodrigo is a Chilean national, fluent in French, English and Spanish, and has working knowledge of German, Italian and Thai.
James Currier is an Entrepreneur and Investor in Silicon Valley. He was an early proponent of social media and growth systems, and founded Tickle in 1999. Tickle grew to 80 employees, nearly 200 million registered users, and $38 million in revenue before selling to Monster in 2004. In 2007, with Stan Chudnovsky, James founded Ooga Labs to incubate digital businesses. In 2008, Ooga spun out WonderHill, a casual games company, which was funded by CRV and Shasta. WonderHill's biggest game was Dragons of Atlantis. Wonderhill grew to $60M in revenue and merged with Kabam in 2010. In 2011, Ooga spun out Jiff, a secure network and marketplace for connecting the mobile health ecosystem to the heath care industry. Jiff was funded by Aberdare Ventures, Venrock, Rosemark Smart Capital, GE, J&J, and Towers Watson. The company eventually merged with Castlight (NASDAQ: CSLT) in 2017. In 2012, Ooga spun out IronPearl, a growth analytics SaaS tool which was acquired by PayPal the following year. In 2015, James co-founded NFX Guild with Stan Chudnovsky and Gigi Levy-Weiss. NFX is a seed stage venture capital firm at www.nfx.com.
Urs Cete is Head of Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), the venture capital arm of Bertelsmann AG., and serves on the boards of Mojiva, Qeep and Exit Games. Before joining BDMI, Mr. Cete was Senior Director Corporate Controlling and Strategy at Bertelsmann AG. In that capacity he worked on strategic projects for all of the media company's divisions, including television, radio, music publishing, book publishing, magazine publishing and services. BDMI is a strategic venture investor focused on innovative digital media technologies, products, and distribution channels across the globe. We look for opportunities where we can accelerate growth through BDMI's financial and management resources and close connectivity with one or more Bertelsmann divisions. BDMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG. Bertelsmann AG is an international media company encompassing television (RTL Group), book publishing (Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), media services (Arvato) and media clubs (Direct Group) in more than 50 countries.
Off the grid ventures
David is a Founder and Managing Partner at Off The Grid Ventures, a pre-seed and seed stage venture capital firm. Off The Grid Ventures backs ''off the grid entrepreneurs'', i.e. women and foreign/immigrant entrepreneurs, in the B2B Tech and Fintech arenas. These entrepreneurs are underserved when it comes to early-stage funding, and yet the diversity of their teams lead them to reach great heights. Prior to founding Off The Grid Ventures, David was a Managing Partner at Arc Venture Partners and a Senior Principal at Cipio Partners, both secondary direct venture capital firms. In these capacities, he led and managed investments in successful companies such as Airtight Networks, Broadbus (acquired by Motorola), Continuous Computing (acquired by Radisys), Danger (acquired by Microsoft), DisplayLink, Fortemedia, Impinj (NASDAQ: PI), Polychromix (acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific), PSS Systems (acquired by IBM), Tropos Networks (acquired by ABB), Verimatrix, and Voltage Security (acquired by Hewlett Packard). Previously, David was an investment manager at the NESBIC CTE Fund, a pan-European early-stage venture capital firm where he notably led the firm’s investments in Outsystems and Oxxio (acquired by Centrica). Before becoming a venture capitalist, David started his career as an investment banker for Lehman Brothers in London and Banque Paribas in Sao Paulo. David holds an MBA from Wharton, a Masters in Applied Economics from the IEP de Paris, a BA in Business Law from Sorbonne University and a BA in Political Sciences from the IEP de Paris.
Pietro Dova was Corporate Controller and Finance Director at Google from 2001 to 2007. He was partly responsible for the Google IPO and roadshow, and directed Google’s operational and transactional accounting responsibilities worldwide. Immediately prior to joining Google, Pietro was CFO of Employeeservice.com. From 1996 to 1999, Pietro was VP Finance of Quote.com, an early online pioneer providing financial news and stock information to active investors. Pietro began his career in technology in 1988 at Oracle Corporation and held various executive finance positions through 1992. From 1993 to 1996, Pietro headed Fulcrum Technologies’ European finance operations based in Paris, France. Pietro received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Imperial College, London and his Masters in Management from M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management.
Nenad Marovac has more than 25 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience in the technology and media sectors. Nenad is the Founder and Managing Partner of DN Capital. Prior to DN Capital, Nenad was a Partner at Advent International in London, where he focused on TMT investments. Nenad focuses on investments in marketplaces, software as a service (SAAS), fintech, consumer mobile applications and digital health companies. Amongst his select investments are Shazam Entertainment (sold to Apple), Auto1 (largest online marketplace for used cars), Apsmart (acquired by Thomson Reuters), Datanomic (acquired by Oracle), Endeca, (acquired by Oracle), Eve Sleep (IPO London), Happn, Hometogo, Hostmaker, Joblift, Mister Spex, Performance Horizon Group, Purplebricks (IPO London), Tbricks (acquired by Orc) and Quandoo (acquired by Recruit Holding). Nenad is also the Chair of Invest Europe and an active member of YPO in London and Berlin. Nenad received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School
Michael is a serial entrepreneur who is best-known for selling social software company Buddy Media to Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) in 2012 for $800+ million. With 65 early-stage investments under his belt, including Eaze, Liquid Death, Map Anything, Buzzfeed, Domo, Namely, Braze, Tumblr, Empathy Wines and Dash Radio, Michael is one of the most prolific tech investors in New York City. In addition, Michael and his wife Kass are avid philanthropists through the Kass and Michael Lazerow Family Foundation. They have donated millions to Cycle for Survival and, as part of the leadership board, have helped raise $220 million for cancer research w/ 100% funding clinical trials and research studies. Michael was the recipient of Ernest & Young’s coveted Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2011 and Kass and Michael were given the Leader of the Future Award by the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute alongside legendary CEOs Alan Mulally (Ford, Boeing) and AG Lafley (Procter & Gamble). Additional honors include Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, Crain’s New York 40 Under 40, #1 on the Silicon Alley 100 and the Ad Age Digital A-List.
Brett Topche is a Co-Founder and serves as Partner at Red & Blue Ventures. Brett Topche serves as Managing Director at MentorTech Ventures. He also serves as Advisor at entreprenYOURS. He joined MentorTech Ventures in 2007 and has more than a decade of venture capital and private equity experience. He has spent much of his career primarily focusing on investments in ecommerce, digital media, mobile applications, marketing technologies and B2B software. He represents MentorTech on the Boards of Directors of Cloudmine and PayPerks and served on the Board of Wanderfly prior to its acquisition. He also serves as a Board Observer at Curalate, Quad Learning, Burrow, Soft Tissue Regeneration and TicketLeap and was a Board Observer at SeniorHomes.com prior to its acquisition by Bankrate. He also served as a member of the Investor Advisory Board of SnipSnap prior to its acquisition by Slyce. Prior to joining MentorTech, he was a member of the Fund Investments Team at Hamilton Lane Advisors, a fund-of-funds manager and private equity investment consultant. In this capacity, he evaluated private equity funds across a broad spectrum of stages and strategies on behalf of both discretionary and non-discretionary clients. During his time at Hamilton Lane, Topche reviewed more than 100 funds, including venture capital, mezzanine, buyout and real estate funds. Based in part on reports he drafted, more than $1 billion was invested into these funds. Prior to working for Hamilton Lane, Topche spent more than four years as an Associate with NJTC Venture Fund, where he focused on investments in early-stage companies in the software, Internet and communications sectors. His responsibilities included deal flow generation, initial company reviews, performing due diligence on potential investments, participating in deal structuring, reviewing legal documentation and working with companies post-investment, occasionally as an Observer on Boards of Directors. Topche is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, with a B.S. in Economics, with concentrations in Finance and Legal Studies and a Political Science minor from the College and Arts and Sciences.
DC Thomson Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of the international media group DC Thomson & Co. Through acquisitions and investments, the organization has diversified into new media, digital technology, education, retail, radio and television sectors. It is headquartered in Dundee, Scotland with an additional office in London, United Kingdom.
David Arcara is a Co-Founder and serves as Managing Director at Laconia Capital Group. He serves as a Board Member at Ocrolus. He served as a Member at New York Angels. He is the co-managing member of the General Partner and the Management Company. Arcara has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and general manager of young high-growth and turnaround media and marketing businesses, both digital and traditional. Arcara has raised, either as lead entrepreneur or as part of the founding team, nearly $100 million dollars of angel and venture funding. In 2010, Arcara founded Rubber Soul Ventures to contribute his personal capital and operational expertise to emerging digital technology companies and entrepreneurs. Rubber Soul Ventures currently has a portfolio of over a dozen early stage ventures based primarily in the Northeast corridor including LeagueApps, LocalVox, Page Science and Wymsee. Arcara was also the co-founder of TalkSix, a consumer facing interactive streaming video start-up with a significant B-to-B component. Arcara has also served as General Manager of Imaginova Corporation's digital publishing division, including the flagship property Space.com, founded by CNN's Lou Dobbs and former astronaut Neil Armstrong. Earlier in Arcara's career, he co-founded Alliance Custom Communications, to create custom content for marketers seeking to enhance their brands' customer engagement. Arcara was ultimately approached by Random House Publishing to re-launch and lead the business as Random House Custom Media. Arcara was also a co-founder of UGO Networks, which ultimately consisted of over 500 independent affiliate web publishers reaching over 15 million users a month and became one of the nation's largest 18 to 34 male-targeted online entertainment content networks. The UGO founding team was among those pioneering the concept of an online ad-supported publishing network. Arcara served as UGO's Executive Vice President and led multiple operating functions including affiliate network development, sales, and marketing. UGO was purchased by Hearst Corporation in 2006 for approximately $100 million. In 1992, Arcara formed DJA Media, Inc., which focused on turning around underperforming radio stations by improving product and sales. In 1996, DJA Media formed Radio Enterprise, Inc., a joint venture with Clear Channel Communications, through which Clear Channel provided financing to allow Radio Enterprise to expand to a total of four stations under Arcara's leadership. Radio Enterprise was sold to Clear Channel in 1998 after more than doubling its asset value at the peak of government-deregulated consolidation. Arcara is a member of New York Angels, one of the country's leading angel investor organizations, as well as Harvard Business School Angels. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned a BA in Philosophy, and holds his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sam Rubenstein is the President of Panacea Capital Advisors, Inc., a venture capital and strategic advisory firm based in Bethesda, Maryland, that works with a broad range of US middle market companies. In addition to startup and early stage Food Tech, Music Tech and other technology-enabled B2B services with an innovative or disruptive focus, Panacea Capital also invests in and provides strategic advisory services to middle market companies in foodservice, content and information services, outdoor media, distribution and supply chain services, marketing services, financial services, crowd funding services and some consumer retail.
Manish Singhal serves as Co-Founding Partner at Pi Ventures. He was a Board Member at Witworks. He served as an Executive at P39 Capital. He is also the Co-Founder and CEO at IndiePitch Solutions. He is an entrepreneur and an angel investor with deep technology background. He brings in over 23+ years of operating and advisory experience across different sectors. Previously, he Co-Founded LetsVenture.com and led it to become the leading marketplace for startups and early stage investors in India within a very short span of time. Recently he was rated as one of the top angel investors in India by VC Circle. After doing his engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1992, he has been instrumental in building several products and teams in different startups and established organizations like Sling Media, Ittiam Systems and Motorola. He was a contributor to MPEG-4 standard and has video technology patents to his name. With his technology background and wide exposure to startups, he helps startups in getting to product-market fit in a lean way and get them investment ready.
Faisal Butt is a Founder & serves as Chief Executive Officer at Spire Ventures. He is also the Founder of PERE Ventures and serves as the Board Member at Ivy Gate. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Spire Ventures. He was the Chairman at eMoov. He serves as Partner and Board Member at The London Management Company. He's also a Director at Leadership and Management Ltd. Educated on three continents and founder of three organizations, Faisal has a strong international network, including principal investors, professional intermediaries, and a number of financial institutions in the Gulf region. Faisal received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Oxford, where he graduated with a Distinction. He completed his undergraduate degree in Economics and Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles - The Anderson School of Management. He also serves as Board Member at POD Management.
Peter is a Managing Partner at Transmedia Capital, an early stage venture fund focused on: digital media, marketing automation, online marketplaces, mobile and SaaS companies. Peter founded three technology companies and has been in the early stage venture business for more than 18 years. He has completed more than 85 investments including top search engines Baidu (China) and Yandex (Russia), C2B (Inktomi), and more recently: Percolate, Domo, and Wish. Peter was a co-founder of Kicklabs, a San Francisco based seed stage accelerator. In 1998, he was a Managing Partner at Whittman-Hart (WHIT), a $1 billion global IT solutions provider. Prior, he was a founder and CEO of Axis Consulting, a leading systems integrator specializing in Internet and ERP solutions, which was acquired by Whittman-Hart in 1997 in a deal valued at $60M. He holds a BS degree in Mathematics from the Western Australian Institute of Technology. When he is not focused on his technology investments, Peter is most passionate about his family, wine, food, skiing, and fly-fishing.
Baltimore Angels is an angel investor group that invests in companies operating in the business products and services, computers and peripherals, consumer Goods/consumer products, education, food and beverage, internet/web services, IT services, lifestyle, marketing/advertising, media and entertainment, mobile, retailing/distribution, software and telecommunications sectors. The firm was established in 2009 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.
Initial Capital is a venture capital firm that prefers to makes investments in seed and early-stage technology companies with a focus on games, social media, digital, mobile, consumer services and technology enablers. The firm was founded in 2010 and is based in London, United Kingdom.
Investor in @instream-media, @talkshoe, @flycast, @cipheroptics, @starr-life-sciences, @redpath-integrated-pathology.
Ayaz ul Haque serves as Managing Director at Exalt Capital Partners. A boutique advisory and principal investment firm, Exalt Capital Partners is a subsidiary of Exalt Capital Management, a privately owned investment manager. Exalt Capital Management manages a series of hedge funds that employ fundamental analysis to make investments in the public markets primarily in the United States, and more recently, through Exalt Capital Partners, in the private equity markets. Exalt Capital Partners specializes in growth investments across the globe, with a particular emphasis on the emerging markets, in venture capital backed revenue-stage companies that have achieved market validation and are well-positioned to be leaders in their markets. On a highly selective basis, Exalt Capital Partners also looks at early-stage investment opportunities where we feel our strategic advisory angle can significantly enhance deal value. Our focus, in this context, is generally on deals that combine technology/innovation with various service sectors and on businesses that are looking to build the next global franchises. Ayaz specializes in investing in companies at various stages of development (early, expansion, growth, secondary market transactions as well as special situations/roll-ups ), particularly targeting investments in Internet and digital media, communications and wireless, enterprise IT, financial services, consumer/retail and education. Ayaz possesses broad investing, operating, and transaction experience in private and public companies. His current investments/board affiliations include: Acceptly, Assured Labor, buzzArab, CaliberVantage, Coho Solar, EdEqual, Envision Telecom Group, Hungrybuzz, inmobly, Ovagen, Secret Builders, Simularity, Teamly and Vufind. Previous investments/board affiliations include: Clickmarks, Cyanea, Ember, Friendi Mobile, HiSoft, IXI Mobile, Manthan Systems, Naseeb Networks, Pachube, Seventymm, Techpacific and Visto. Prior to joining Exalt Capital Partners, Ayaz was a Managing Director with ePlanet Ventures and a Director with Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures focusing principally on expansion and later-stage investments in the United States, MENA as well as in India. Notable DFJ ePlanet investments include Baidu, Skype and Focus Media. Prior to joining DFJ ePlanet, Ayaz was the Director of Mergers & Acquisitions at Crosby Financial Holdings in London, where he managed the cross-border corporate finance advisory and investment initiatives of one of the leading Asia-focused specialist investment banks. While at Crosby, Ayaz focused on both mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments and worked in London, Bangkok, Singapore and Seoul covering various sectors including technology, media, telecom, financial services, transportation, aviation and manufacturing. Prior to his involvement with Crosby Financial Holdings, Ayaz served as an Associate Director of Corporate Finance at Peregrine Investments, a pan-Asian investment bank, where he was responsible for developing Peregrine's corporate finance and private equity businesses in the Middle East, and identifying and evaluating Middle East to Asia investment opportunities. Previously, Ayaz was an Associate in the Corporate Finance Group of Bear, Stearns & Co. in New York, where he was involved in the execution of North American and Asian transactions. Ayaz is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College holding a B.A. in Economics.